Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bell Piano Upright

I received my new-to-me Bell upright piano. It is was manufactured around 1904 by the Bell Piano Company in Guelph Ontario. So far my research indicates that the company made very nice pianos with rich sounds and shipped many worldwide. How great the piano truly is remains to be seen of course, as it is very old, and is likely to have issues. The case, or outside is rough in spots, but quite tolerable, so I think I can live with how it looks in the living room.

I have already begun to disassemble it to look for problems  I am entirely new at this, so it is a learning experience as well as a challenge. I am still determining what part names are and the basics of function. Here's a picture of it opened (click on it for a larger image):

It is out of tune of course, so that will have to get remedied soon. From what I have gathered so far, the bridle straps are in bad shape, and some are broken. One was replaced with string, which I find ridiculous. The key tops are in need of care. Some are cracked, and others are worn from years of use (enjoyment). The hammer and damper pads are old, and as a result some need work, or replacement. I am hoping I can fix them myself. The hammer pads are in far better shape than the damper pads. More problems will likely rear their ugly heads as I delve further into it, but on the good side, the sound board, strings, plate and bridges seem good.

So now the adventure begins. As I am completely broke, I plan on doing much of the repairs myself (balls of steel). Not sure what to tackle first, keytops or bridle straps. I might even be able to work up enough confidence to pull out the complete action. I will post images and updates as I progress.

Wish me luck.


Lurch said...

I'm currently deconstructing a 1880 upright to sell it's parts.

Taking out the string is a absolute nightmare.

And the harp is 180 pounds of brass I need to carry to the truck and recycle.

Gonna take weeks.

Then maybe build a desk out of the remaining shell.

Schick said...

What make?

Jennya said...

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Schick said...

Thank you for the kind comment. I better get working on the piano and provide more updates.